One week after acquiring Andrew McCutchen, the Giants added another outfielder in Austin Jackson, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jackson will earn $6 million over the next two years in San Francisco with the opportunity to earn up to $2.5 million in additional incentives. The Giants now have 41 players on their 40-man roster, meaning that they will need to make a corresponding move.
Can confirm Giants signed Austin Jackson for two years and $6M. He'll make $3M each season. Can play all three OF spots, fits in nicely as CF and leadoff.
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 23, 2018
Jackson is coming off of a very strong season for the Indians in which he hit a robust .318/.387/.482 over 318 plate appearances. After looking at those numbers, you may be wondering why Jackson wasn’t able to get a larger deal.
Delving a bit deeper into his rebound season, Jackson posted a BABip of .385, which is far from sustainable. Furthermore, when he made contact, it was on the ground 47.9 percent of the time, which suggests that the fact that so many ground balls turned into hits can really be chalked up to good luck.
Nevertheless, at an average annual value of $3 million over the next two years, Jackson will provide a very affordable center field option for the Giants. At this juncture, it looks as if he will see the lion’s share of playing time in center field, however with Steven Duggar right around the corner, the Giants have a bit of insurance in case his luck begins to sour.
This has been a rather eventful offseason for the San Francisco Giants, who saw themselves fall to the bottom of the National League West for the first time since 2007, as they have traded for two rather big-ticket players in Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria.
Nevertheless, in order for the Giants to be successful in 2018, they will need to see rebounds from players such as Johnny Cueto, Mark Melancon, Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt, while hoping that Madison Bumgarner can come back healthy. 2018 seems like a “World Series or bust” season as star players Madison Bumgarner and Andrew McCutchen will depart in free agency following the 2018 season, while the majority of their remaining players are certainly racing against the clock. Luckily, adding a veteran, like Jackson, on an inexpensive contract gives the Giants a low risk upgrade to a position of need, and a potential trade chip if things do happen to go south.